Immortality or Bust follows the 2016 presidential candidacy of Zoltan Istvan from the Transhumanist Party. If someone believes that immortality is possible and wants to run for president, their name better be Zoltan.
Transhumanism is the belief or theory that the human race can evolve behind its current physical and mental limitations with the help of science and technology. Now, whether you believe in Transhumanism or not, it does not make this documentary in less interesting. Zoltan’s life story sounds like a sci-fi film.
In his twenties, Zoltan Istvan traveled the world on a sailboat by himself with five hundred books aboard. In his more recent years, he had the idea to drive across the country in a coffin bus (Yes, a coffin bus) to raise awareness of Transhumanism. While doing so, he also reveals that he was running for president in 2016. At this point, just about anyone run for president, except Kanye West, he was a bit late to the party.
During the documenting of his trip and candidacy, we are given information about how technology has evolved and how it relates to human life. At one point, Zoltan talks about a heart that runs on wifi and is meant to be a life-long replacement for a human heart. We are also taken into a facility that houses frozen human bodies in hopes of waking them up/bring them back to life when science has a way of doing so and curing whatever illnesses they may have.
“…Zoltan talks about a heart that runs on wifi and is meant to be a life-long replacement for a human heart.”
This idea of wanting to extend life is one thing, but to be immortal is something I really question. Why would anyone want that? There are far too many ethical and moral issues that come with this idea. The documentary explores these issues a bit, but not enough. It is definitely a one-sided argument and an agenda-driven documentary. With that being side, it is still quite interesting. Zoltan (along with others) gives his reasons for wanting to look further into technology to help evolve the human lifespan. Although some might have decent reasons, some are just hilarious. Zoltan often uses sex as reasoning. He talks about being able to have a heart that can withstand sexual interactions when you are older and then talks about how technology can and has made way for people to experience sexual activities while being in completely separate locations.
There is somewhat of an uneasy moment in the film. The film opens with Zoltan and his mother crying, but it is not clear why. It is not until the end of the film. It is made clear. They are crying over Zoltan’s father’s dead body. I get that this can push his argument further, but it’s also something very personal that a normal human being would probably not want on camera.
Immortality or Bust could be a documentary that is meant to sway a person’s view on Transhumanism, but it is also a story of an interesting man with interesting (or far-fetched) ideas. It is surprisingly a quick watch even though it is a little more than an hour and thirteen minutes in length. Much of the documentary will also make you think of classic sci-fi movies that show how technology can change the world. It’s not a good thing when Zoltan keeps mentioning Jurassic Park in his argument. We all know what happens there.
"…the 2016 presidential candidacy of Zoltan Istvan from the Transhumanist Party."